Cloud Computing is a term that has become commonly used by many companies in the last 12 months. As a metaphor for the Internet, "the cloud" is a familiar cliché, but when combined with "computing," the meaning gets bigger and fuzzier. Cloud computing comes into focus only when you think about what IT always needs: a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software. Cloud computing encompasses any subscription-based or pay-per-use service that, in real time over the Internet, extends IT's existing capabilities.
- The software industry is in the midst of a pretty fundamental transition, similar in magnitude to the shift from mainframe to client-server computing in the 1980’s and this shift is creating a real opportunity for businesses and consumers.
- Industry Analysts are forecasting SaaS to grow over 17% year over year for the next 3-5 years.
- Industry Analysts say by 2012 40% of enterprises will adopt a blend of cloud and on premises for their Unified Communications needs and they say a full 80% of Fortune 1000 enterprises will be using some cloud computing services, while 20% of businesses will own no IT assets.
- Microsoft spends $9.5B in R&D each year. A full 70% of MS engineers are currently working on Cloud Services or products that will be delivered as cloud services, and MS expects that to go up to 90% by this time next year.
- What makes their approach unique is that they don’t just provide Web applications or just data center services, they deliver all 3 layers of Cloud Services: SaaS, Platform and Infrastructure as a service.
- Microsoft is well positioned for this transition because they have the broadest portfolio of Cloud Services for businesses coupled with the broadest vision for business productivity. It is not just Dynamics CRM Online, but the just announced Office 365, which combines the familiar Office desktop suite with cloud-based versions of our next-generation communications and collaboration services: Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online.
- Microsoft is unique because they deliver the cloud on your terms. You decide how you use the technology—100% as a Public cloud service, 100% on-premises, or a mixture of both.
- Microsoft now has 40 million paying commercial users for their portfolio of online services—20 times the number of paid users at Salesforce.com
By Liz Nash,